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Global Market for UC Projected to Reach $16.8 Billion by 2015

A new report predicts continued growth after two years of almost inactivity.
By Leonard Klie - Posted Sep 1, 2010
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The global market for unified communications (UC) products is expected to reach $16.8 billion by 2015, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA). That’s up nearly 12.5 percent from  $14.7 billion at the end of 2009. Projections call for the market to reach $15.5 billion by 2012.

According to the report, UC deployment benefits, such as superior speed of communication, dissolution of communication barriers posed by variations in media, faster communication response time, and unrivaled levels of flexibility, have all been instrumental in driving growth and adoption.

The expected growth comes after two years of tough business conditions. The lack of strong budgets to fund equipment upgrades and replacements was cited in the report as a major factor dragging down growth in 2008 and 2009. Nevertheless, as a simple solution for complex networking, UC’s market performance has been relatively better than most other technologies, thanks to hosted UC services, which many credit as the market’s saving grace.

Now, as the world economic recovery begins, pent-up demand will resurface, GIA asserts, and lease expirations on existing systems are also expected to drive revenue gains in the coming years.

As stated in the report, PBXs and video endpoints/infrastructure together account for more than 80 percent of the global UC products market. Audio conferencing and Web conferencing represent a key component of UC, and their ability to closely link geographically dispersed enterprise teams provides a compelling business case. 

The report also points to a growing popularity of UC platforms integrated with social media, the role of which cannot be underscored in helping employees collaborate and stay connected. The growing body of evidence surrounding the role of social media in improving sales and marketing outcomes/opportunities is resulting in increased acceptance of high-end strategic applications, such as mobile and presence integration, the report notes, and adoption is therefore expected to receive a boost as companies realize the elevated level of effectiveness of their salesforce and marketing processes when aided by UC/social media technology.

The report looks at some of the key players in the UC marketplace, including Aastra Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Avaya, Cisco Systems, IBM, Interactive Intelligence, Microsoft, Mitel Networks, NEC, Polycom, RadiSys, ShoreTel, Siemens Enterprise Communications, TeleWare Group, and Toshiba America Information Systems. 

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